The Ultimate Pre-Moving Checklist: What to Pack First for a Stress-Free Relocation

Are you planning a move soon but feeling overwhelmed with the huge task ahead? Where should you begin? Let us take away the stress! Going through a relocation can be a daunting endeavor without proper preparation. 

But don't fret – we have assembled the Ultimate Pre-Moving Checklist to help streamline your packing process. Whether you're looking to hire local movers or planning a DIY move, understanding what to pack first can considerably reduce relocation-related pressure. This guide will be your key to a hassle-free and well-organized moving experience.

Wondering What to Pack First When Moving?

Understandably, packing up your whole home can be a daunting task. Consider every corner, closet, and cabinet, as well as the attic and other storage areas. You have more items than you realize, and packing them all will take time.

There are two choices:

  1. Working proactively and completing each section in a reasonable time frame is the best way to go.
  2. You can't finish everything within a few days if you wait until the last moment, work all night, or stress yourself to the limit.

What am I hearing? You're going with the first option. You made a smart choice.

Don't assume you are alone in the struggle. This article will show you what to pack before moving. The list is broken down chronologically to help you plan your packing strategy and get more done.

When Should I Begin Packing for My Move?

You have officially started the moving process. When you're ready to move, it's time to begin packing. It may seem overkill, but your realtor will ask you to do this if you sell your house to make it more attractive to buyers. Decluttering your home can make it more appealing to potential buyers. This is the perfect time to throw out things you don't need or want.

What about those things you want to keep but need to hide? Imagine packing all your holiday decorations, winter clothing, and hand-me-downs, then having a place to store them other than the hallway or guest room. I know! It's a great idea.

What Is the Best Way to Start Packing for a Move?

You're now ready to begin packing if you've finished your home clean-out, purchased moving supplies, and hired a professional mover. Here's the play-by-play.

1. Start by Putting Away the Things You Have in Storage (at Least Five Weeks)

Prepare these items to be packed if you have old baby clothes, holiday decorations, gift-wrapping supplies, unused furniture, or other items in storage. You will only use them after the moving date. 

2. Out-of-Season Clothing (4–5 Weeks Before)

Out-of-season clothes are also subject to the same rule. Pack up your clothes that you will only need once temperatures change. Use vacuum-sealed bags for bulky sweaters or puffy coats to save space in boxes, suitcases, or drawers.

3. Wrap Fragile Items (3–4 Weeks in Advance)

You're not going to throw a dinner party if you're moving. While we don't suggest packing your daily dishes, now is the perfect time to begin carefully wrapping up any fine china, crystal, or silver you won't use daily.

4. Pack the Guest Bedroom Three Weeks Before Departure (3 Weeks Out)

You can pack up the guest bedrooms and rooms you don't use often. You can also break down the beds and pack up dressers now. However, you might be expecting help from out of town to pack between closing your old home and moving into the new one.

5. Box the Books, Artwork, and Decor (2–4 Weeks Before Departure)

It's optional to have art and decor in your home. These items should be packed two to three months before the move. The same goes for books on your shelves. One or two books can be kept out as entertainment. The rest should go into boxes.

It's tempting to put a lot of books in one large box when it comes to boxes. However, this can make for a heavy package. Pack like a professional by placing heavy items, like books, into smaller containers. This will make them easier to lift.

6. Load Up the Linens (2 Weeks Out)

Pack the extra blankets, towels, and linens at least two weeks before you move.

7. Take on the Toybox (1–2 Weeks Before)

It's time for those who have kids, or adults with complex hobbies, to sort through their toy boxes or storage bins and determine what is moving and can either be donated or thrown away. You may think your kids will be upset about having their toys packed away, but they won't. Here's another tip from parents to parents: pack up toys when the children are away. It's hard to decide what goes in the portable storage unit and what should stay out when a pouty child tugs you.

8. Store Your Shoes, Jewelry, and Clothes (1 Week Out)

Pack your clothes, shoes, and jewelry a week before moving. Set aside two clear bins or suitcases – one for things you will need in the week leading up to your move and the other for clothing and toiletries the following week. This may result in some overlap, but it is a great way to stay organized.

Packing shoes can be tricky. Throwing them in boxes will cause damage and bending. Wrap them in packing papers and place them in boxes. Or, put bubble cushioning between pairs of shoes for extra protection.

9. Last to the Kitchen (2–3 Days)

Pack up any kitchen items you don't use daily a few weeks before moving. The kitchen is often the hardest room to pack and the last room people do, as it's used until the day of the move. Pack up everything you can in advance. Clean out the cabinets and purge your pantry. The rest of the checklist can be left until last, once you have completed the first few steps.

Moving into a new house is exciting but can also be stressful. Making the first time you enter your dream home a memorable experience is possible by ensuring everything that leads up to it runs as smoothly as possible. Preparation is key to making the dream come true.


Moving can be overwhelming, but it becomes a smoother, stress-free experience with proper planning and organization. Following this Ultimate Pre-Moving Checklist can help you determine what to pack first and when to begin packing. But remember, having a successful move doesn't only depend on when and how you pack your belongings; it's also about finding the right professional movers to assist you.

If you live in or around Brooklyn, consider hiring Abreu Movers Brooklyn, a reliable and customer-friendly team of movers in Brooklyn. We offer unparalleled moving services designed to ease the burden of relocation and make your move as hassle-free as possible. Don't let the daunting task of packing and moving overshadow the joy of relocating to a new place. 

So, ready for your big move? Let Abreu Movers Brooklyn handle the hard work while you sit back, relax, and look forward to your new chapter. Call us today or visit our website for a quote and start your stress-free relocation journey!

Eric Chandler
Moving Company Professional

Eric Chandler is a versatile entrepreneur with expertise in both writing and the moving industry. With years of experience as a writer, he has a talent for crafting engaging content on various subjects for major publications and online platforms. Eric also owns a successful moving company that provides reliable and efficient services to clients across the country. His extensive knowledge of the moving process, from packing to delivery, has earned him a reputation as a trustworthy moving expert.